Security Awareness Training

The Top 10 Phishing Simulation And Testing Solutions

Phishing simulation and testing tools will give users real-world experience of combatting phishing attacks. Explore features including phishing templates, reporting plugins, and user metrics tracking tools.

The Top 10 Phishing Simulation and Testing Solutions include:

Phishing attacks target your users’ vulnerabilities, rather than any technical loopholes. Phishing attacks are relatively easy to carry out, as they do not require much technical knowledge. Instead, users are tricked into willingly sharing their personal or secure details to what they believe is a trusted and valid account. Phishing is widespread – according to Verizon, phishing accounts for 44% of all social engineering attacks.

Organizations spend large portions of their security budget on ensuring they have the latest technology that can address the most urgent and complex security issues. However, all it takes is for one user to click on an unsafe download, or unwittingly grant access to a malicious actor, and all that technology can be bypassed. It is, therefore, essential that your employees understand what phishing is, the risks it poses, and how to prevent this type of attack from succeeding. This begins with phishing simulation. 

Phishing simulation solutions deploy campaigns to understand how users respond when a dodgy email arrives in their inbox. This gives you a better understanding of how your users will react to a real life phishing attack. It ensures that your users retain the information that they learn and can use it when confronted with a phishing attack in the real world.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the most effective and robust phishing simulation and testing tools currently on the market to help you identify the ideal solution for your organization. We have assessed each platform’s feature set, usability, effectiveness, and use-cases, to ensure our listings are accurate and useful.

Hoxhunt Logo

Hoxhunt provides security awareness and phishing training solutions that foster positive behavior changes amongst employees, transforming them into an extension of the cybersecurity team. These solutions train users to detect and respond to cyberthreats and enable IT teams to monitor user activity and identify potentially dangerous behaviors.

Hoxhunt identifies each user’s weaknesses and focuses training in those areas. If a user fails a simulation, the platform’s AI engine creates a bespoke learning path for that user based on their performance. The platform also incorporates gamification into training to boost user engagement; users are rewarded with two stars for successfully reporting an email, then a third star for completing a short, related piece of training. Collecting enough stars will earn unique badges. Users can track their progress compared to their peers on an internal leader board, which develops a strong security culture and has users asking for more training.

In addition to creating individual training curriculums, Hoxhunt’s AI engine delivers personalized phishing simulations to each user based on their skill level, department, geolocation, and more. Simulations are delivered via email and are adapted to 30+ languages. Once a simulation is delivered, IT teams can track real-time performance, with in-depth reporting into which users are reporting phishing emails. Users can also report real suspicious emails to their IT teams; Hoxhunt analyzes the message in real-time, provides instant user feedback, and then categorizes the risk level to reduce SOC workload.

Thanks to its native integrations with major email clients and other email security providers, Hoxhunt is easy to deploy. We recommend Hoxhunt as a particularly strong solution for larger, global enterprises operating in industries that are susceptible to high-profile cyberattacks, such as critical infrastructure, financial services, legal, technology, and manufacturing.

Phished Logo

Phished is a security awareness training provider that empowers users to identify and confidently report email threats. Their holistic approach to security awareness training combines four key features which likens users to a “human firewall” that can help block sophisticated social engineering attacks. These four features are: awareness training and checkpoints, phishing and SMiShing simulations, active reporting, and threat intelligence.

Phished delivers awareness training via bite-sized micro-learning modules. These incorporate gamified content (users can earn badges, medals, and certificates) to keep the modules engaging. Phished automatically sends users personalized phishing and SMiShing simulations to test their response to attacks. The difficulty, frequency, and message type are tailored according to each user’s actions and response to training. Alternatively, admins can create their own simulations. If a user opens a link or enters credentials into Phished’s fake phishing page, Phished explains how they should have responded. Users can also report threats via the Phished Report Button which sits within their email client. Users receive notifications detailing whether reported emails are safe, a simulation, or a genuine threat; real threats are automatically analyzed and quarantined. Finally, the platform uses threat intelligence to identify malicious campaigns taking place globally and notifies users of any activity that they should look out for.

The combination of training with threat simulations and reporting capabilities enables Phished to generate a Behavioral Risk Score for each user; a quantifiable number that gives users and admins immediate insight into where their vulnerabilities lie and how to improve their security hygiene. The platform deploys easily within any email client, including Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. Users can be onboarded manually, via .csv files, or via Active Directory integration. These strong capabilities, combined with ease of use and deployment, make Phished a strong solution for any organization looking to train their employees to identify and report phishing threats.

SafeTitan Logo

Founded in 1999, TitanHQ is an international leader in email and web security, as well as data archiving. Its security awareness training offering, SafeTitan Security Awareness Training, is a behavior-driven security awareness solution that uses gamified and tailored up-to-date training material as well as automated phishing simulations to deliver security training in real-time and create changes in user behavior. The solution can be managed and monitored from a single easy-to-use portal.

SafeTitan Security Awareness Training’s security awareness training solution targets specific user behaviors, providing real-time intervention training in combination with simulated phishing attacks to reinforce employee defenses. The training is tailored and gamified, with an extensive library of relevant and up-to-date training courses, videos, and quizzes provided. All of these are designed to be interactive and engaging—and with each module lasting a short 8–10-minutes to minimize disruption to employee productivity. The phishing simulations are fully automated, adaptable, and come with a regularly updated library of thousands of phishing templates to choose from.

The solution helps organizations meet compliance requirements—including HIPPA, GDPA, ISO EU NIS, and Cyber Essentials. The platform is also SCORM compliant and LMS compatible. The solution also provides holistic reporting, providing admins with a 360-degree view of their users’ progress and reporting on training content as well as phishing simulations in a digestible way. This ensures that admins and management teams can oversee outcomes and track ROI.

The digestible and engaging nature of the content alongside the customizable and quick to deploy phishing simulations help to reinforce learning and can be targeted to individuals whose reports indicate a need for extra help. This makes SafeTitan Security Awareness Training a strong and highly effective solution for organizations looking to reduce human error and mitigate cyber risk. SafeTitan Security Awareness Training caters to a range of sectors including education, business, and healthcare. We recommend its security awareness training offering for organizations looking for strong cyber risk management with real behavioral change and measured effectiveness.

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ESET is a cybersecurity provider that specializes in digital security and anti-malware solutions, serving homes, businesses, and enterprises.

Their contribution to this list is ESET Cybersecurity Awareness Training. Training is delivered using a gamified approach, including easy-to-understand, bite-size videos, so as not to overload participants with information.

ESET streamlines the learning process as much as possible to create a more digestible program for your staff that doesn’t compromise on important details. The training program is being constantly updated, with advanced bonus training packs and new, single-topic learning modules being added to make sure your staff stays up to date on the latest threats.

ESET provides various courses, modules, and topics to choose from, making sure that your employees get a broad, but detailed, range of knowledge from their training. One of their most notable training segments is a 90-minute gamified training module that acts like an RPG. Your employees can choose a character to play in their role as an IT technician that can assist their fictional team with any security problems, making it not only enjoyable, but helps your staff put their knowledge to practice.

Training is then tested and reinforced through customizable, pervasive phishing email simulations. Admins are able to monitor user progress through the training, letting you know how far along they are, and providing reports on their success with the phishing simulations. Any users who fail can be automatically re-enrolled in more targeted training. Users are rewarded with a certificate upon completion, plus a LinkedIn badge notifying others they have successfully completed the training.

We recommend this service for small to mid-sized enterprises looking for effective, easy-to-manage security awareness training and phishing simulation, particularly those utilizing ESET’s wider endpoint protection solution suite.

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IRONSCALES is a market-leading cloud-based email security solution that combines artificial and human intelligence to provide fast and highly-effective protection against advanced attacks that traditional email security gateways miss. It is particularly effective at identifying BEC, account takeover, and VIP impersonations. Its comprehensive, all-in-one anti-phishing platform is designed to protect against social engineered attacks—by using AI-driven email security technology and by training users to spot and report phishing emails when they receive them. The solution is offered in three solutions—Starter, Email Protect, and Complete Protect—all packages include the ability to run phishing and smishing simulation testing campaigns. In its approach to phishing simulations, IRONSCALES makes its solution relevant to specific users based on real-time data from real attacks their company is facing.

IRONSCALES phishing simulation campaigns are fully customizable—admins can choose from a library of real-world templates then target smart groups of employees within their organization. Campaigns can also be tailored to individual users’ security awareness levels. Benchmarking assessments are used to analyze each user’s ability to recognize phishing emails and assign them a score. This score then determines the difficulty of future phishing simulations sent to each individual. This score will change over time as their awareness improves. Complimentary to this, IRONSCALES provides a Report Phishing button in their preferred email client (desktop, browser, or mobile), if an employee identifies a suspicious email, they simply click the button to have an IT Security admin review the email for them.

IRONSCALES’ advanced reporting capabilities allow admins to track users’ progress in real-time via an easy-to-use dashboard to identify users who fall “victim” to simulations and administer further training as required.

Overall, IRONSCALES is rated highly as an all-in-one solution for email security and phishing simulation testing. Users find the platform easy to use and understand, deem it good value for the money, and great at providing executive-level reporting. The solution can be integrated with Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace (G-Suite) in minutes using native APIs, with no configuration changes, risk, or interruptions to your email delivery.  IRONSCALES is ideal for SMBs as well as enterprise organizations, and is best suited for businesses looking for market-leading email security alongside phishing simulation.

Jericho Security Logo

Jericho Security offers an innovative phishing simulation and security awareness training solution that trains users to detect and mitigate cyber threats with highly customizable, hyper-realistic training. The solution’s key features include video-based security training, real-time reporting, and dynamic spearphishing simulations. These simulations are created with assistance from Jericho Security’s exclusive generative AI engine, “CyberGPT.” They are designed to train users to respond to realistic, modern threats, such as AI-generated phishing attacks.

Jericho Security’s training platform offers 100% customizable, video-based training content, which admins can use to train their users on a variety of workplace policies and risks. The platform’s AI engine can generate new training content within 24 hours, enabling admins to quickly roll out training material in response to new and emerging security threats. In addition to its training videos, Jericho Security’s platform offers dynamic, personalized phishing simulations, with diverse messages timed individually for each recipient. Admins can reward completion and escalate difficulty with each simulation, utilizing the platform’s recommended tactics to test their team’s response to realistic threats. The platform creates its simulations using dark web data and real-world phishing examples, ensuring that users are trained to identify realistic threats. Jericho Security offers multi-lingual support across all of its training and simulation content, with a quick turnaround for multi-language content. 

From a management perspective, Jericho Security provides a modern, user-friendly admin dashboard from which admins can generate executive-level reports—such as monthly campaign reports and quarterly executive summaries—and track the progress and performance of individuals, groups, and roles at a granular level. This can help identify high-risk activity across the organization so they can assign further training where needed. The platform is also straightforward to deploy, with one-click integration with Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and Okta for easy onboarding. 

Jericho Security’s solution helps prepare users to identify security risks within their workplace, teaches them how to respond to threats via simulated attack scenarios, and provides real-time insight into user behavior. It’s important to note that Jericho Security is a start-up company with a growing team. In our review of the product, we were impressed by the quality of the training materials and by the user-friendly dashboard, and we expect the solution to continue improving over time—both in terms of quality of materials and additional features. Overall, Jericho Security’s product offers a modern, AI-enhanced approach to cybersecurity training and awareness.

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Barracuda Logo

Barracuda Security Awareness Training is a comprehensive solution designed to help organizations mitigate email security risks by simulating threats, analyzing user behavior, and educating users. It offers a range of features that cater to various security awareness initiatives and provides an easy setup process that allows for quick deployment of awareness campaigns.

The platform utilizes Barracuda’s extensive threat intelligence gathered from their email protection services to create realistic simulation and training content. This helps users identify and understand various email threat types such as business email compromise (BEC) and impersonation attacks. The user-behavior metrics, detailed trend analytics, benchmarking statistics, and customizable reports and dashboards provided by Barracuda Security Awareness Training enable organizations to gain valuable insights into their vulnerabilities and risk areas.

To meet compliance requirements, Barracuda Security Awareness Training offers ready-to-launch training designed by experts. This simplifies the process of adhering to regulations, fighting security risks, and maintaining a secure environment. In addition, the platform provides monthly ClickThinking content bundles consisting of infographics, posters, and videos aimed at promoting continued learning and cultivating a security-conscious culture.

As part of a complete security strategy, Barracuda also offers the option to integrate Security Awareness Training with their other email protection products. This integration eliminates the issues that may arise from using multiple, separate solutions, and ensures a more cohesive approach to email security management.

Ninjio Logo

NINJIO PHISH3D is a simulated phishing program designed to identify social engineering tactics that may deceive users in an organization. The program focuses on three areas: attack vector-based phishing testing, emotional susceptibility testing, and automated difficulty levels. Utilizing adaptive learning, the platform continually tests against common real-world hacking techniques and examines users’ vulnerabilities to seven key emotional triggers employed by malicious actors.

With NINJIO PHISH3D, organizations can detect a range of attack vectors such as ransomware, deceptive phishing, spear phishing, and malware, among others. The platform provides centralized user provisioning and allows the creation of static and dynamic groups for optimized delivery. Campaign setup is simple and intuitive, offering smart campaigns and automated difficulty selection based on user strengths.

NINJIO PHISH3D offers thousands of existing phishing templates in multiple languages, constantly updated based on recent attack vectors. Customizable difficulty levels and unlimited template-building capabilities ensure a tailored experience for users. The platform’s real-time dashboard provides insightful reporting at the company, group, department, and individual levels. Additionally, the NINJIO RISK Algorithm automatically determines key susceptibilities for each user, empowering organizations to continually enhance their cybersecurity efforts.

KnowBe4 Logo

KnowBe4 is a provider of security awareness training and offers a comprehensive suite of interactive content for organizations. Featuring an extensive library of over 1,300 resources, including interactive modules, videos, games, posters, and newsletters, KnowBe4 enables businesses to educate their employees on security awareness and best practices. The platform supports content translations in more than 30 languages to accommodate diverse groups of users.

Users can conveniently access KnowBe4’s training modules through their smartphones or tablets with the KnowBe4 Learner App, which supports on-demand training. Additionally, the platform utilizes AI-powered personalized training recommendations based on user performance during simulated phishing tests. KnowBe4 allows for seamless integration of custom in-house content and also offers the option to upload your own SCORM-compliant training materials.

Apart from training features, KnowBe4 provides simulated phishing attack features to test an organization’s email security and user response to potential threats. Leveraging machine learning, the platform automatically chooses suitable phishing test templates for each user. This enables businesses to assess and mitigate risk across their organization effectively. The platform also provides comparison benchmarks, enabling organizations to measure their phishing risk against similar-sized companies in the same industry.

In summary, KnowBe4 offers a combination of security awareness training and simulated phishing attack features to create a robust and comprehensive solution for organizations looking to improve their cyber defense capabilities.

Proofpoint Logo

Proofpoint Security Awareness Training offers tools to assess the current state of an organization’s security awareness program. These tools help to establish a baseline by analyzing users’ vulnerability to cyber threats, their beliefs about security awareness, and the organization’s existing gaps. By using phishing simulations, tests, culture assessments, and cybersecurity assessments, Proofpoint enables an organization to create a data-driven security awareness program suited to real-world threats.

Proofpoint’s solution offers a range of features including the identification of vulnerable users, also known as Very Attacked People. This helps in assigning targeted phishing simulation training to users who need close attention. The platform also enables an organization to gauge the security culture by examining employees’ feelings of responsibility, importance, and empowerment regarding cybersecurity.

Predefined cybersecurity assessments and adaptive learning assessments are provided for various topics, including data protection, passwords, compliance, and phishing. These assessments help in uncovering specific user knowledge gaps and deciding the appropriate training modules for them. Proofpoint also allows the setup of phishing simulations, SMS attacks, and other campaigns within minutes to evaluate users’ susceptibility to various threat vectors.

By combining information from real cyberattacks and simulated phishing test results, Proofpoint Security Awareness Training enables organizations to focus on their most vulnerable users, effectively reducing overall risk. With the Nexus People Risk Explorer feature, users can easily identify subsets of the organization with heightened risk and apply the necessary security controls. This comprehensive approach allows for better visibility and management of people risk within the organization.

The Top 10 Phishing Simulation And Testing Solutions